A Times reader argued recently that we taxpayers should not let the Hall County commissioners “double transportation taxes on the poor and elderly.”
Michael Parker said 3 out of 4 Red Rabbit riders make less than $15,000 annually and pay 3.4 percent of their income to be driven, at taxpayer expense, to and from work, school and/or shopping for food.
How about me, an “ignorant brute,” Mr. Parker? I’ll soon be fully retired. I was forced to give the government hundreds of thousands of my hard-earned dollars for Social Security. The government wasted all of it and will now give me back only a few hundred dollars per month to live on after they take more taxes out of it.
From this twice-taxed money, I’ll be required by law to pay more than 25 percent — not 3.4 percent — of it each year to Hall County as property tax so the county can provide a beautifully appointed, air-conditioned bus and a highly trained driver to take another Hall resident (who is paying no income taxes, and does not want to pay 3.4 percent of his income) to work and to the store.
Is 25 percent of my income to Hall County my fair share compared to the riders’ 3.4 percent? And I live too far away to even ride the Rabbit.
Hall County and the city of Gainesville need to get out of the bus-taxi business as soon as possible for two reasons. No government, including the state of Georgia, should be providing bus, taxi or train service. Private enterprise should provide these services using government-provided roads.
Secondly, Gainesville and Hall County will be left holding all of the costs when the bankrupt U.S. federal government (hopefully) stops sending the borrowed money that now “pays” for most of the cost of the Red Rabbit bus system.
Family, friends, neighbors, co-workers, employers, churches and nonprofit charitable organizations, all of which thankfully abound in Gainesville, can and will (again) take these relatively few Red Rabbit poor and elderly people to work, doctors and stores.
Some of these riders could even sometimes use a nongovernment-owned taxi company, a free enterprise, which would then pay part of the fare in taxes to Gainesville, Hall County, Georgia and the federal governments, thereby helping to reduce our huge debt.
And, as an added bonus, the former Red Rabbit riders could have their family, neighbors, churches, etc., pick them up at their home and take them directly to where they are going. This mode would waste far less of their time and they would not have to walk to a bus stop and wait in the rain and hot sun for a bus.
Vote no to T-SPLOST.